It is pretty apparent that editing in the world of the news media has become a bit of an afterthought. With the high demands of a 24-hour news cycle, factual errors and typos seem to frequently slip through the cracks. Some of these mistakes are pretty trivial, like the misspelling of a word, for example, but others can be extremely damaging and unprofessional. Just a few months ago, the ruling on whether or not the Affordable Care Act would be deemed unconstitutional was the hot topic of the day. Every single news outlet was standing on those courthouse steps, waiting for the ruling to finally come out. These news organizations had to be first. They desired that recognition of being the first media outlet to report on the outcome of this issue that affects so many of us. In the midst of this race for the finish line, an error slipped through and both CNN and Fox News inaccurately reported on the individual mandate’s constitutionality. Now instead of the viewers focusing on who brought them their news first, they can only focus on that abysmal mistake. This mistake still follows them today. Now when searching “CNN affordable care act” or Fox affordable care act,” instead of getting relevant articles and videos about the subject, the search returns dozens of articles about their big mistake. This is a friendly reminder about how shoddy news organizations have gotten in their desire to be first.
So what can we do about these ever frequent editing mistakes? The 24 hour news cycle isn’t going away anytime soon and with our increasing forms of communication across continents, news will likely be flying by in the blink of an eye. The only thing we can do about it now is to punish shoddy news stations with our remotes. The less we watch, the less they get paid and hopefully these news organizations will get the message about our need for reliable journalism.